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AP source: Goldschmidt, D-backs near $32M deal

Saturday - 3/30/2013, 12:20am  ET

BOB BAUM
AP Sports Writer

PHOENIX (AP) -- First baseman Paul Goldschmidt and the Arizona Diamondbacks are close to agreement on a $32 million, five-year contract that would run from 2014-18, according to a person familiar with the negotiations.

The deal would include a $14.5 million team option for 2019 with a $2 million buyout, the person said Friday, speaking on condition of anonymity because the agreement had not been finalized.

In his first full season last year, Goldschmidt hit .286 with 43 doubles, 20 home runs and 82 RBIs. He agreed in February to a deal paying $500,000 if he is in the majors this season.

The new deal gives him a $500,000 signing bonus, $1 million in 2014, $3 million in 2015, $5.75 million in 2016, $8.75 million in 2017, and $11 million in 2018.

This would mark the fifth significant contract for the Diamondbacks this year following deals with second baseman Aaron Hill, third baseman Martin Prado, closer J.J. Putz and shortstop Cliff Pennington.

Goldschmidt's talks were first reported by ESPN.com.

Before Friday night's exhibition game against Cincinnati at Chase Field, Goldschmidt declined to talk about the contract because nothing had been officially finalized.

"Obviously there's rumors out there and when something happens I'll be able to say something about it," he said, "but right now nothing's final or official or anything like that, so I don't have too much to say.

Manager Kirk Gibson was gushing in his praise for Goldschmidt and his approach to the game.

"What's not to like," Gibson said. "I mean, everything he does from the time he gets to the park until the time he leaves every day. He's very good at preparation, before, during the game, after, a great teammate, works really hard. He has high aspirations to be a world champion. He wants to win a Gold Glove. And he would never change. It will never change until he stops playing. We talked about the 'Diamondback way' the last couple of year and he's a model of a Diamondback guy."

Told of Gibson's comment, Goldschmidt said, "I don't know about that. Those are big words to live up to."

"We've got a lot of great guys around here," he said. "I just try to learn from the guys that have been around here. I'm lucky to be surrounded by a lot of great guys here and they all are very open to talking about baseball and helping me out. I'm very fortunate to be in this situation."

The 25-year-old first baseman shot through the Arizona minor league system after he was drafted in the eighth round out of Texas State in 2009.

The 6-foot-3, 245-pound player came to the majors during the 2011 season, batting .250 in 58 games, then burst into prominence in the NL division series against Milwaukee, when he became the second rookie in baseball history to homer in his first two playoff games. His grand slam against Milwaukee was the third by a rookie in the postseason. Goldschmidt hit .438 in the five-game loss to the Brewers.

After batting just .213 in the first 27 games of last season, he hit .303 the rest of the way.

Among NL first basemen in 2012, Goldschmidt ranked second in batting average, second in doubles, third in slugging percentage (.497), third in hits (147), fourth in home runs and fourth in RBIs.

Without the new contract, Goldschmidt would be eligible for salary arbitration after the 2014 season and for free agency after the 2017 World Series.

With the deal, Arizona will have locked up three of its infielders to long-term contracts. Hill signed a deal that pays him $40.5 million over the next four seasons. Prado, acquired from Atlanta in the trade that sent Justin Upton to the Braves, signed a $40 million, four-year contract after arriving in Arizona.

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AP Sports Writer Ronald Blum contributed to this report.

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Follow Bob Baum at www.twitter.com/Thebaumerphx


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